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Me-Ouch! Are You Giving Your Cat “Bad Touches”?

Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

People love cats. I love cats. The ancient Egyptians loved cats so much, they treated them like gods, often burying their cats with them to protect them in the afterlife. Do cats love people? Not so much.

A cat loves you on its own terms, when it feels like it, and when it is done, it will just bite you and walk away. Awesome! Cats don’t really care about your feelings or emotions, and unless you have food, often won’t even acknowledge your existence.

Fine with me! I have cats, but I’m more of a dog guy. At least they are happy to see you when you get home. I have two cats that I haven’t seen in a full day. Guess I’ll see them when they want me to see them.

Dog people are a special breed, pun intended, but they are nothing compared to cat people. Perhaps I should put that a different way; people who think they are cat “experts”.  I contend no one is a cat expert, except a cat. Just because you say you have “fur babies” doesn’t make you a cat whisperer!

I may sound like a bitter, cat abandoned dog lover, which I am, but recent research proves me right, and I love nothing more than being right! Check out this purrrfect study from Science Alert:

A new study reveals that people who consider themselves knowledgeable and experienced cat parents may in fact be giving their felines too much affection – or at least not putting it across in the best way.

Previous research has helped to establish how cats should be handled to put them at ease, or at least less hostile and perhaps a bit more affectionate. This includes areas of the body where the animals like to be petted, and how and when they prefer to be picked up.

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I bristle at the phrase “cat parents”. I did not birth a cat, nor did any of my wives, though I have accused them having a cow or two. Is it shocking to anyone that you can give a cat too much affection? It shouldn’t be considering they generally just bite you, give you a dirty look and walk away with their business end in the air!

I assumed there are areas of a cat’s body you don’t touch just like a person or a dog. Some areas need to be kept hands off. With people, cats and dogs. Only difference is, when someone rubs my bald head without permission, I don’t hiss and scratch them. Maybe I should try that.

Based on the findings of the new research, self-confessed ‘cat people’ tend to pet the animals in areas that they aren’t so comfortable with and give the felines less choice over how they are handled.

The researchers found that people who rated themselves as more experienced and savvier with cats were more likely to touch the animals on the base of the tail, legs, back and tummy – areas where cats typically don’t like to be petted (they usually prefer the ears, the cheeks, and under the chin).

Great job cat fanciers! You folks are out there grabbing cats all willy-nilly, scratching bellies and stroking tails, meanwhile cats are all like ‘what the hell man’! I have to question who is stroking a cat’s leg though. Weirdos.

Anyone that ignores the look of pure ecstasy on a cat’s face when you scratch it behind the ears or under the chin in deference to belly rubs is just a monster. And likely to be scratched by Mittens.

“Our findings suggest that certain characteristics we might assume would make someone good at interacting with cats – how knowledgeable they say they are, their cat ownership experiences and being older – should not always be considered as reliable indicators of a person’s suitability to adopt certain cats.”

Those are my findings as well, though no one asked, presumably because I’m not a “scientist”. Doesn’t take a scientist to tell you a cat will mess you up when you scratch the wrong spot or pick it up when it’s just chilling in a sunbeam.

Those are my findings as a lifelong cat master, and I’m not fe-lying.